Thursday, July 21, 2016

Table No. 25: The Georgia Museum of Art at UGA’s Freshman Orientation

Over the summer, eager “baby dawgs” and their parents pour onto the University of Georgia campus for their first official look at the life of a college student: Freshman Orientation. Recognizable by their red lanyards, nametags and red tote bags, the soon-to-be UGA students walk into the Grand Hall at the Tate Student Center to learn about all of the new opportunities the university has to offer. 

UGA Orientation with student
Lawson Boling (right)
Bright and early twice a week, the museum’s communications team and I head to the Tate Student Center for UGA Freshman Orientation. We grab our cart of supplies from a meeting room, ride the elevator to the fifth floor and make our way to table number 25 in the Grand Hall. Ten minutes later, the Georgia Museum of Art table is ready to go.

We stand at attention and either greet students or let them approach us. Accompanying our table are two large banners, a large display of the museum’s Snapcode for Snapchat and an abundance of brochures and publications. When one of us catches the eye of a parent or student, a simple “Hi, how are you doing?” draws them to the table.

Once I have sparked their interest, I hand them a museum brochure or a copy of Facet, our quarterly publication, then give them a quick rundown about the location, current and upcoming exhibitions, the opportunities for students and the fact that entry to the museum is free (which tends to be the most surprising part).

My favorite, yet most challenging, part of this experience is to call out “Follow us on Snapchat!” to the students passing by the museum’s orientation table. I will either get a laugh and some sincere interest, or be blatantly ignored. The museum team gets a good kick out of it, but it works.

All in all, being present at UGA’s Freshman Orientation has been great. If the new freshmen and their parents did not know the museum existed before, they do now. We have met many parents at orientation with interest in our collection, exhibitions, opportunities for their child or children and questions about that strange poster in the middle of our table. The incoming students love the Snapchat poster and show enthusiasm for opportunities for student involvement at the museum.

Morgan Tickerhoof
Public Relations Intern

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